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Home Solar Energy

Priscilla Said:

compare and contrast natural gas, burning wood, and solar energy as home-heating methonds. include renewabilit?

We Answered:

What a wonderfully worded question, a very postmodern interpretation of the original which a less imaginative person would have just copied verbatim. Fantastic use of punctuation and spelling just as their creators intended them to be used.

Fortunately this is quite a common question to be posed as part of elementary geography so I think I can deduce the exact question. In short a discussion would revolve around the following points.

Natural gas. Advantages: Less polluting (although still some) emissions when compared with other fossil fuels like coal and oil, easy to store and transport, cheap, efficient and readily available at present. Disadvantages: CO2 emissions that lead to global warming, limited supply a lot of which comes from unstable areas of the world and can be toxic and explosive if handled incorrectly.

Wood burning. Advantages: Effectively renewable although requires some effort to manage forest, readily available. Disadvantages: Not clean, sooty, less efficient than fossil fuels and harder to transport.

Solar energy. Advantages: Effectively free and renewable, very clean. Disadvantages: Sun not always shining especially in colder countries means that the energy captured must be stored somewhere and also requires expensive technologies which are currently not that efficient.

Hope that helps.

Natalie Said:

I'm interested in using solar energy in my home;can you help me get started?

We Answered:

Find out from your regional weather service how many days of sun you get per year. There is a break-even point where under a certain amount of sunny days it will not pay for itself. Generally NE US is too cloudy for it to work well--to power a whole house.

Gary Said:

how much would it cost to convert my home to using solar energy?

We Answered:

If you want to convert your home to solar energy and want to see returns in the near future I would suggest attempting to build your own solar panel.

it's not as hard as you might think and cost a fraction of buying one. I built mine for around $180 following a pretty simple guide.

Check out my site, i reviewed the process there: http://theearth4energyreview.blogspot.co…

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